As a mom, part of the joy of toy-shopping is dreaming of all of the quiet time said toy will buy you. Usually that amounts to about 7.5 minutes, which is excellent in toy-time.
But then my daughter got this Giant Inflatable Easel for her birthday and it keeps her busy for hours at a time:
She stands out there and paints and paints one abstract masterpiece after another (FYI – above image is not my daughter or her artwork or my yard – see, no weeds!). But, a word of warning, never refer to your child’s artwork as playing. I offhandedly told my son that I was going to do something while they played and Samantha spun her head around, gave me one of her patented dirty looks and yelled, “I NOT PLAYING! I AM WORKING!!!” and promptly returned to her work without giving me a second glance.
I will not lie, masterpieces such as this do not come off with a simple spray of the hose. I have to scrub it with some dish soap and a sponge and at times resort to my cure-all, Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. But even if it sometimes takes about 10 minutes to wash off, it is totally worth it.
There is little I wouldn’t do for an hour of uninterrupted play time and if that play time is outside and creatively focused, so much the better!